We made it to Perth safely, after our bus was delayed by 3hrs!!! On arrival we also realised that we'd been dropped off in East Perth as opposed to Central Perth where our hostel was. Luckily however we met a nice New Zealand lady called Melanie who very kindly offered us a lift into the city from her friend. After a long journey down from Monkey Mia we were exhausted so checked in to the hostel and went straight to bed.
The following day we set off to explore Perth by foot. We soon realised that Perth was a very modern & clean city although the actual CBD was very small in comparison to the other cities we've visited. The day was spent catching up on some much needed chores (i.e laundry) and looking around the shops. After this we headed down to the river and took a walk along it looking back at the city. In the afternoon we started to plan the next leg of our trip - Cairns to Sydney as we'd heard everything was booking up fast as its getting near to Christmas.
Friday we headed to Kings Park & the Botanical Gardens for a picnic. The park was huge and gave fantastic views down the hill to the city and river. After checking out the State War Memorial we took a walk along the Lotterywest Board Walk which meandered through the Botanical Gardens. On the boardwalk we heard the Beegee's tribute act warming up for the concert that was being held that night. After the boardwalk we walked along the south east boundary of the park which overlooked the river. After walking for what seemed like ages we cut through the park to the picnic area where we ate our sarnies by the lake. Here Helen spied on the local kids who were testing out their school project (milk carton sailing ships) so that she could use it in her class. She was stood there taking pictures of sections of the lake that just happened to have ships on it! After lunch we walked along the Broadwalk through the centre of the park to the DNA tower, which was a tower that was surprisingly shaped like a DNA! We made fools of ourselves here racing each other up the two stairwells much to the amusement of an old lady sat watching us. From here we headed back to the hostel where we got suck in a very long and weird conversation with our nut job room mate - he had major issues!
The next day we hired out a car and headed inland to Wave Rock. We took with us a girl called Karen who we'd met in the hostel two nights before. The rock was around 350kms from Perth and took around 3.5hrs to get there. Helen tried to fool us by telling us it was a fossilised wave but we weren't that stupid, we knew it was where cavemen used to surf! The rock itself was 15m high and 110m long. We were surprised by the colour of it as it had black and orange streaks down it which had been caused by water dripping down over time. After posing in our 'hang ten' positions we took a walk over the top of it and headed toward the 'Hippo's Yawn'. We've learnt that with a lot of these rock formations you have to really use your imagination, or be very drunk and this was no exception! Since we'd traveled this far we thought we'd also check out 'The Humps', which turnt out to be 2 hills (they should check out Wycombe!), and 'Mulkas Cave'. Supposedly a cross eyed aborigine who used to eat children (because he couldn't throw a spear straight) lived here ...mmm! After that excitement we thought its best we headed home.
Sunday we left Perth and took the train to Freemantle. After dropping off our bags we headed to the Freemantle Sunday Market & watched some street entertainers who did a very cool acrobatic performance. Freemantle was very popular at the weekends with the coffee shops and bars! Late afternoon we went to Little Creatures Brewery which Steve had introduced us to in Sydney. This had a very cool bar attached to the brewery and it looked as though they served the drinks straight from the newly brewed beer which was cool. The problem was that due to our lack of money in Oz we had hardly drunk since arriving so this went straight to our heads. Im embarrassed to say that after one pint I was tipsy and Helen was plastered. We walked back to the hostel and she passed out asleep for a couple of hours. God help us on New Years!
The following day we intended on going down to the beach as we'd heard it was lovely down there, however by the time we'd woken up, had breakfast, & managed to successfully book all our hostels & tours till Christmas (very organized!) it didn't seem worth going so we hung around town looking in the shops. We did make it down to South Beach on Tuesday where we went for a nice walk along the beach and around the harbor. Although the sun was out there was a cold sea wind coming in so we didn't fancy sunbathing. After this we walked down to the park where we sat around and met a guy from Luxembourg who was very nice but it looked like he was wearing his pajamas!!! We spent the evening in the hostel watching the film they put on (Night in the Museum) which Helen absolutely loved as it had Di-ck Van Dy-ke in it! She didn't stop smiling every time he was on screen!
Wednesday was our last day in Freemantle. By now we'd come to realise that Freemantle was a really nice town but unfortunately you need a fair bit of money to join in the local past times like having breakfast & coffee in the cool cafes they had littered all over the place, going to all of the nice bars they have everywhere, or visiting the local attractions which were expensive. We did however pop into the Shipwreck Museum to waste some time (as it cost $2 entry) and it was surprisingly interesting. After this we decided to treat ourselves to fish and chips which was lovely!!! Here it started to rain so we spent to rest of the day in the hostel. Around 7ish we checked out and caught the train back into Perth and then the bus to the airport where we were to fly to Cairns at 00:30 this morning (6th).
We are now in Cairns and have a very busy and exciting 18 days ahead of us. We're really looking forward to getting busy again after the very chilled couple of weeks we've had in Western Australia so hopefully we'll have some fantastic stories and photos to show you.Hope everyone is well and looking forward to Christmas!!!
Gavin and Helen